February 9, 2004, 9:33 am

Need Fake Latin?

By d/D

Dave Cantrell at the 4GuysFromRolla Web site has a program that generates “fake Latin” text:

http://www.4guysfromrolla.com/demos/latin.asp

Why use fake Latin, or “greeking,” as it often called? We occasionally use it in design samples to show how a page looks without distracting reviewers with sample content that is inherently incomplete or out of date.

Usability expert Jakob Nielsen describes a testing methodology that leverages such unreadable copy:

“When they can’t read the text, users have to rely on the inherent communicative aspects of the layout to perform the test task. If a layout performs well when users can’t understand any of the content, then there is hope that the template will survive substantial abuse from authors who fill it with content of varying quality.

http://www.useit.com/alertbox/980517.html

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Filed under: Usability, Web Interface Design

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